Dark Chocolate Bark With Carmelized Nuts & Pink Salt
Why I Love This Recipe
Which dessert can you offer a friend who keeps a strictly gluten-free diet?
Chocolate is naturally gluten-free, as are raw nuts and dried fruits. So why not make chocolate bark? Both sophisticated and delicious, this dark chocolate bark is encrusted with glazed nuts for extra crunch and a flourish of sea salt for a burst of mild saltiness. Your friends will think you've slaved for hours in the kitchen when in reality, you can whip up chocolate bark in less than an hour. Allow a couple more hours for cooling.
When choosing chocolate, make sure there are no messages on the label such as "processed in a wheat-processing facility" to ensure it is truly gluten-free. If you're giving chocolate bark as a gift, wrap in colorful paper or stack it in a simple, organic paper box. At home, store in an airtight storage container, preferably a glass container, for several days.
Ingredients You'll Need
7 ounces (200 grams) high quality, gluten-free dark chocolate
1 cup raw almonds or mixture of raw nuts
1/3 cup dried cherries, or other dried fruit
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
2-3 pinches Himalayan pink salt, or other quality finishing salt
1. Pour water then sugar into a medium saucepan. Boil on medium-high heat until sugar turns golden amber, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat immediately so the sugar doesn't burn.
2. Add almonds and stir to coat.
3. Working quickly, pour glazed almonds onto a Silpat or other non-stick surface. Separate the nuts before they cool.
4. When cool enough to touch, after about 5 minutes, break excess sugar from the nuts and set nuts aside.
5. Gently melt chocolate in a microwave or in a double boiler on the stove.
6. Cover half of a 10 x 15 inch baking sheet with waxed paper. Pour the melted chocolate evenly over the surface of the waxed paper. You should have an approximately 10 x 7 inch rectangle of chocolate.
7. Evenly sprinkle almonds and cherries over the surface of the chocolate. Gently press them into the chocolate. Allow to cool at room temperature for about two hours, until firm. You can speed up cooling in the refrigerator, but don't refrigerate for more than 15 minutes as the surface of the chocolate can quickly appear "frosted".
8. Sprinkle sea salt, using just 2-3 pinches, over the surface of the chocolate bark. Cut into wedges with a sharp knife.
9. Serve with coffee, tea, wine or whiskey for a sophisticated dessert. Wines that pair well with this chocolate bark include Syrah, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Port and Zinfandel wines.